Meet the next generation of doctors

Meet some of our Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) students, who will one day practice as doctors in rural and regional areas

Meet the next generation of doctors: Abigail Malpass, Oscar McGraw and Lydia Reiske.

They are enrolled in our three-year Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) degree, which guarantees entry into the Doctor of Medicine Rural Pathway at the University of Melbourne, Shepparton, for students meeting weighted average mark requirements. This makes it an attractive pathway for rural and regional students to become doctors.

Abigail Malpass

Abigail Malpass is in her second year of her Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) degree at La Trobe’s Albury-Wodonga campus.

“I have always been interested in medicine, but I knew that a career as a doctor in a big city hospital was not for me. My high school careers advisor mentioned the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) degree, and it was exactly what I was looking for. It allows me to complete all my learning, training and placements in rural areas. And I will get full exposure to rural health care, which is very important to me.

When I was applying for courses, my focus was on trying to get into medicine. Now I am thinking about the bigger picture. I am passionate about Indigenous health and women’s health. I have also seen firsthand the challenges that rural people face when trying to get access to health care.  It’s not at your fingertips, and I understand that.

I started my course last year. It has been nice to meet other students who are so like-minded. I'm in a small class, and we've already formed fantastic study groups. It's a great learning environment. We all know each other well. While the world stopped in so many ways during the COVID-19 crisis, I have been busier than ever.

It was only a few weeks into my degree when I knew this is what I want to do. I was one of the first people from my high school to apply for medicine so it has been a bit of a lone trek. Now I know it was totally worth it.

Studying medicine in a regional area feels like the right career choice for me and I don’t see myself moving to a city after finishing the degree. I am not sure if that means I will have my own private practice in a small town or work in a regional hospital, but I am keen to address the shortage of doctors in rural and regional Australia.

I do really enjoy my course. I feel very privileged to have been given this great opportunity.”

Oscar McGraw

Oscar McGraw is in his third year of his Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) degree at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus.

“I am in my third year of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical). 2020 was a different year because of COVID-19, but I really enjoyed the subjects. First year was all about the general sciences, like biology and chemistry. Last year I learned about anatomy and all the intricacies of the human body, and I’ve loved it. Now, I’m looking forward to studying subjects which will help me to transition into clinical practice like pathophysiology, clinical biochemistry and haematology.

I have also enjoyed the social aspects of the course. Being part of a cohort of like-minded students means that we can talk about ideas, bounce off each other and collectively enhance our learning.

For downtime, I play golf. It started during year 12 when I was studying a lot and needed an outlet. It’s a very strategic sport. It requires a lot of thought, but it is also relaxing. My mind is ticking over most of the time with study, so golf helps to give me a break from everything.

I’m on the home stretch of my degree now, and I hope that one day I will be able to practice medicine in my hometown of Cohuna, or somewhere nearby. I want to improve the health and wellbeing of people in these rural communities by becoming a rural generalist, or a GP with a specialisation.”

Lydia Reiske

Lydia Reiske is in her second year of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) degree at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus.

“I am now in my second year of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical). I chose this course as it will allow me entry into the Doctor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, Shepparton. It’s perfect for me because, one day, I hope to practise medicine in a regional area.

I grew up in a very small town called Boolarra in Gippsland. It’s about four hours away from La Trobe’s Bendigo campus, where I’m studying. Bendigo was a good choice for me because it isn’t as big as Melbourne. Coming from a rural area, this made the transition to university easier.

I like how well set up the degree is. There are only 15 students per cohort, and I will be with those people for seven years. It guarantees a strong support network from the get-go. Receiving a scholarship was also a great help. It provided me with the financial security I needed to move out of home."

Find out more about the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) degree.